Nets-Clippers Preview

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Clippers are one of five teams with a home winning percentage of .800 or better since the start of the 2012-13 season.

They'll try to improve to 5-0 at home for the first time since 2006-07 Saturday night against the Brooklyn Nets.

This marks the first time Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers gets to face a couple of former players from his days with Boston, in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. In their six seasons together, the Celtics won the 2008 NBA title and made it to three Eastern Conference finals.

Under Rivers, the Clippers (6-3) are scoring an NBA-best 110.0 points per game, while their home average of 120.8 is also tops in the league.

Wednesday's 111-103 win over Oklahoma City was their worst shooting night at Staples Center this season, and though they went 6 for 28 from 3-point range, they still shot 45.3 percent from the floor.

The Clippers trailed at the break but took control in the third, outscoring the Thunder 30-16 in the quarter en route to their third straight win.

"What I loved about the third quarter, every single guy came in and did something," Rivers said.

Blake Griffin led the team in scoring for the fifth straight game with 22 points, and he added 12 rebounds and seven assists.

Chris Paul had 14 points and 16 assists, giving him a double-double in those categories in every game this season. He also turned the ball over only twice after piling up 18 turnovers in his previous four games.

Los Angeles is allowing 106.0 points per game, which is second to last in the league, while their 48.2 points in the paint allowed is tied for last.

The team is focusing on getting its defense in sync rather than relying on offense every night.

"We've got to do a better job of not relaxing," Griffin told the team's official website. "I feel like we keep saying the same things over and over, but that's a good thing that it's on our mind and that's what we want to achieve that full 48 minutes of defensive intensity."

Brooklyn (3-5) snapped a three-game skid with Friday's 100-98 overtime win at Phoenix. Pierce had 14 points while Garnett, who is averaging a career-low 5.8 points, grabbed a season-high 14 rebounds.

Nets point guard Deron Williams exited the game in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative and no timetable was given for his return.

"I landed on (teammate Mason) Plumlee's foot," Williams said. "All my weight was on it (the ankle). It's frustrating. No words can describe it. Sick of getting injured, sick of being hurt. I just want to be healthy and help my team."

Shaun Livingston replaced Williams and scored 18 on 7-of-12 shooting.

"We are a veteran team," Livingston told the team's official website. "We know what's at stake. This was very important."

Brook Lopez matched his season high with 27 points and the team tied a season low with 12 turnovers.

Joe Johnson scored the winning basket after gathering a rebound and running the floor to beat the buzzer with a layup.

"This was big," Johnson said. "There could be a domino effect."

It was their third straight victory at Phoenix, but winning on the road against the Clippers has been more difficult. Los Angeles has won eight of its last nine home games against the Nets.

The teams split last season's two-game series, with each team winning on its home floor. The Clippers won the most recent meeting 101-95 on March 23.

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